Monthly Scoop: May 2020

Thank you to all who attended our May meeting. Zoom has become a normal venue in this age of the new normal, and we are grateful for those who join the conversations.

We are also grateful to our May speaker, Lou Woolf, who is the current president and CEO of Hebrew Senior Life (HSL), a top provider of senior care in the Boston area and a national leader in redefining the experience of aging. Lou spoke about his organization’s approach, and lessons learned as a front line service provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group was glad to hear how HSL managed to keep residents involved, and deaths to a minimum, during this difficult time.  


  • New Boston Bridge LinkedIn Page:
  • Webinars and Workshops:
    • May is Older Americans Month and Mental Health Month. Mass Councils on Aging (MCOA) and the Mass Gerontology Association (MGA) have shared opportunities from William James College:
      • Mental Wellness for Workers in Aging Services: The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on older adults brings with it a high impact on those who serve them. Katherine King, PsyD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at William James College, will be leading a series of FREE, 30-min sessions to support self-care and help with grief among workers in the field of aging. This session is for anyone working in the field of aging who would like additional support and training to buoy their well-being during this challenging time. Attend as many or as few sessions as you like. Register just once and you will receive Zoom links to all sessions. Starts today, May 26. 
      • The Wisdom of Grief for Workers in Aging Services:  This session is for anyone working in the field of aging who is seeking mutual support and guidance to aid them in coping with their losses. Discuss types of grief and learn your own style of coping; provide tools and ideas to help you handle your losses; and create time and shared space to honor the lives of those no longer with us. Register for this Thursday, May 28
    • Conversations on Loneliness and Social Isolation will be a chance to share experiences, ideas and expertise for creating socially inclusive communities. Even before COVID-19, loneliness and social isolation were critical public health issues facing our communities. Stay-at-home orders have magnified this issue and raised public awareness of the negative impact. Solutions are needed for building connections across our age-friendly communities.Thanks to MGA for sharing this opportunity, hosted by the Taskforce to End Loneliness and Build Community, and facilitated by AARP Massachusetts and the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston. Register here for the June 4th event.

For Our June Meeting:

Due to the pandemic, Boston Bridge has decided to open our June meeting, usually a perk for members, to everyone. The meeting will focus on issues pertinent to this new normal that are relevant for all of us. Details will follow soon, but please mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 17th, at 6:00 PM.


  • Many of our members are those seeking first jobs, or those seeking to change jobs. In these challenging times, it is important to be prepared with an arsenal of ways to find that position. Here are some tips to help with your job search.
  • It is also important to remember that the feeling of loss and grief that we all feel, even if we are healthy, is real and needs to be addressed. Here are some coping tips for all of us.
  • The COVID19 pandemic has created opportunities to test our resilience and fortitude. It has also created stress and worry. How do older adults handle this? Amid the horrible news of so many older adults with COVID19 dying, this NY Times article explains why some older adults are actually thriving during this crisis. 
  • While the US Congress has developed a stimulus plan for our economic recovery during the pandemic, this article cautions that a social stimulus plan might be just as important. Since research shows that 43% of older adults report feeling lonely and $7 billion is spent on Medicare due to loneliness, it might be time to take action.
  • During the pandemic, some question the worthiness of treatment for older adults or those experiencing disabilities. Interact Center in Minnesota is a place where these assumptions are challenged and intergenerational arts are practiced with success.
  • COVID-19 has created new burdens for caregivers. Some people have brought loved ones home from long-term care facilities because they worried that being there would bring added risk, and/or due to a feeling of loss for not being able to see them. How do they cope with these new challenges? Find out here.
  • For Boston Bridge members looking to change careers…did you ever think of starting your own business? Not during a pandemic, you say? A Pittsburgh serial entrepreneur and author of the new book Ageless Startup asks why not?

Take Action

Thanks to a suggestion from Boston Bridge member Corinna Laudate, we are planning ways to send messages of gratitude and support to front line workers at older adult facilities. Corinna is willing to spearhead the effort. Anyone interested in assisting with some minimal letter writing should please contact us at

Please stay well and healthy. We look forward to “seeing” you on June 17th!

Colleen Morrissey and Barbara Friedman, Boston Bridge Board Members